Liquor privatization bill passes in Harrisburg

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PA Legislators Debating Privatization of Liquor StoresIt took close to eight hours as both political parties debated the bill but finally around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, it was passed in the state House of Representatives.

Democrats voted unanimously against it. They say this bill will put thousands of people out of work, cost the state money, and lead to higher rates of alcoholism.

“If this bill is enacted, it will cost thousands of hard-working Pennsylvanians their jobs. These are workers in Harrisburg, in Dauphin County and beyond who stand to lose their jobs at no fault of their own,” says Rep. Patty Kim, (D-Dauphin.) “Our struggling economy cannot withstand any more unemployed workers, especially in the greater Harrisburg region. And they will be lost to big-box retail giants. It just doesn’t add up. My choice was convenience or jobs: I choose saving jobs.”

However, the Republicans have been arguing people have wanted this for a long time.

“We took a historic first step toward moving Pennsylvania into the 21st century and allowing the private sector to handle the sale of wine and spirits,” says Rep. Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster.)  “I voted in favor of House Bill 790, because the bottom line is government should not have a role in the sale of alcohol, and the majority of constituents that have reached out to me on this issue agree.”

They say this will bring shoppers back into Pennsylvania who’ve been leaving the state for lower prices; they continued to say it’ll double the number of stores. Also, it will let grocery stores sell wine and beer.
The House Bill 790 passed with a 105 to 90 vote and will now move on to the State Senate.

Decades after the end of prohibition, Pennsylvania is moving one step closer to getting the government out of the alcohol business; however, it is far from a done deal.


    • Paul Lindquist

      Pennsylvania is way behind we need to catch up ,what makes us so different than any other state .

    • Sam

      then why have I been buying all my liquor in MD for many years? hmmmm bottle of makers in pa… $60+… same bottle in MD… $40….

      • HowIgnorantRU?

        Supply and demand. Since throngs of you flock to MD to buy, the stores near the border sell cheaper. When PA opens the floodgate, MD sales will go down so the cost will rise there.

        Should have kept the MD thing a secret and support the status quo on liquor sales in PA.

  • Tammy

    Cost people jobs, really Democrats just keep the thought of us being able to control our lives and not them. Yeah, PA for getting a step closer to adulthood with this issue.

    • HowIgnorantRU?

      Don't really see the Dems as more controlling than the Repubs. More often see it the other way. As a female, you could probably see it that way too, No?

  • Lorenzo

    Sorry about the 4000 union employees to be laid off or transitioned to other state jobs, but that happens to many businesses. Look at the paper, printing, telephone and postal industries (just to name a view). Selling alcohol should not be solely a state job. Our free market system is based on competitive markets. I just bought a bottle of Canadian whiskey for $10.99 in Maryland. The same bottle in PA goes for $17.99 (on sale). Our school system should take a faster course to a free market competitive system.

    • HowIgnorantRU?

      A lot more to it than just the free market issue.

      I trust the state and the professional state employees to sell alcohol responsibly and be held to open standards. I do not trust the private sector to be as efficient. Cost is much less relevant.

      Whatcha do Lorenzo? Let's argue about abolishing your line of work and see how worked up you get.

    • sharon

      Don`t need union to drive prices up. I have worked union jobs and all they do is suck my money to pay for their contributions to people I don`t want to vote for, and their waste of money in Las Vegas!

  • Lynn

    oh poor babies! you are willing to put 4500 people out of a job becouse you want to get your bottle cheaper! or you want to buy your beer while getting your gas so you can chase down the better price on your makers mark!. i bet most of the people for this were not born and raised here in Pa, maybe you should have done your research before migrating here. oh and by the way, when all is said and done ENJOY your higher taxes!

    • sharon

      I guess you are a PLCB employee. Your union is making higher taxes. You might not notice it on your paycheck, but I notice it on mine. Free Enterprise. I don`t want to pay for your pension,vacation,healthcare.. I`m sure you are`nt paying for mine.

      • Lynn

        and you must have migrated here becouse it is cheaper, why do you think that is? well not for long if you get your way!! FYI I am a concerned parent and home owner, I enjoy the fact that my children are not raised learning about alcohol in our daily lives!!! paying higher school taxes, maybe you don't mind but I do,By the way NOTHING in this world is Free unless ofcourse you live on welfare?!! So, if you really don't like leaving in this state MOVE

  • lazrus444

    The ONLY profitable, government run business in PA and they are going to piss it away. You think prices will drop after privatization? Guess again.

  • HowIgnorantRU?

    There are so many issues beside jobs, convenience, alcoholism and customer cost.

    Alcohol consumption problems can be seen with the wrecks from DWI drivers. Alcohol availability at private stores will lead to underage accessibility, especially through retail theft and local corruption. Alcohol is as addictive as cigarettes and drugs (illegal and Rx). Alcohol is more abused and has worse consequences to those around an abuser than cigarettes and drugs. Why is it necessary to make it MORE accessible and less regulated?

    Alcoholics and greedy corporations are the most outspoken supporters of privatization. What's your kickback for this Corbett?

    If it's cheaper in MD, go to MD. Think about how much of a problem you have if you drink that much that you will save huge amounts of money going to MD. You grumpy people who angrily detest state stores should take care of your addiction or move out. It's been working fine in PA since Prohibition was lifted. I'm okay with going to specific specialized places to purchase alcohol and beer and because I do not have an addiction, paying a little more does not affect me. (I could probably get gasoline cheaper if I went to some other state to get it, too.)

  • Higher prices

    If you actually think prices will be cheaper, you are sadly mistaken. The more outlets there are to beer, wine , and liquor, the more stops a wholesaler has to make to deliver. That means more gas, probably more employees and probably a few more trucks on the road. Who do you think will eat the cost?

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